example, if you want just music
downloads, there are Samsung, LG,
and other MP3 phones with huge
hard drives or Flash memories to hold
the songs. Apple’s new iPhone
combines an EDGE phone with an
iPod. If you just favor email, you
probably want a BlackBerry — the king
of email phones. The Palm Treo
phones also do email, as well as
popular PDA functions. Phones from
Verizon and Sprint Nextel have the
best GPS navigation features and
services now, but others are on the
way. Nokia and LG have TV phones
now, but others will be along soon.
broadband connections. It can also
serve those small towns and rural
areas where DSL and cable still
New WiMAX basestations are
being built now with services
available in some areas currently,
with much more on the way.
The main carriers are Sprint Nextel
and Clearwire. WiMAX also uses
OFDMA. By using VoIP on WiMAX,
subscribers can make phone calls, as
well as do any other data-intensive
applications like email, Internet
access, or even video.
By putting WiMAX in a cell
phone, you get a 4G capable
phone. Most likely the LTE and UMB
systems will become established as
the primary 4G sources with WiMAX
showing up mainly embedded
into laptops as an alternative or
complement to Wi-Fi. Something to
look forward to around 2010. NV
4G PHONES IN THE
No kidding. Serious work is
proceeding to create even faster,
more capable 4G cell phones. The
WCDMA/HSPA carriers are working
with the ITU and 3GPP to create what
is called Long Term Evolution (LTE). It
uses orthogonal frequency division
multiplexing access (OFDMA).
Recall that OFDM is the
technique of transmitting high speed
digital data by dividing the data
into hundreds or even thousands of
slower parallel paths and modulating
each on separate adjacent but
orthogonal carriers. OFDMA adds
the technique of dividing the carriers
and spectrum so that many users
can share one wide band chunk of
spectrum. LTE won’t be available
until about 2010.
The cdma2000 people will probably go with a 4G technology called
Ultra Mobile Broadband (UMB). It
was created by Qualcomm as an
evolution to their cdma2000 Rev B
system. It too uses OFDMA. With
both LTE and UMB, promises of data
rates to 100 Mbps to the handset
have been made. No one is sure
why we need this or what the end
killer app will be, but we shall see
The dark horse in the 4G race is
called WiMAX. WiMAX (which is
available right now) was developed
as an alternative wireless competition
to DSL and cable TV high speed
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